Casco to create committee to look at adopting municipal charter

By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer

CASCO – Do localized rules streamline government, or result in too much red tape?

Casco Selectman Ray Grant brought forward the idea of creating a committee to review the pros and cons of adopting a municipal charter.

“I think this town has grown to need its own charter, instead of referring to state charter” and seeking the counsel of the Town Attorney to interpret the state’s charter, Grant said during Monday’s meeting.

The board voted, 4-1, to move forward with soliciting volunteers to study the concept, and share their findings with the selectmen. The board agreed a group of five to seven people would be appropriate for such a task. Also, the town would advertise that it needed volunteers for the task of serving on the exploratory committee.

Selectman Carroll L. Morton opposed the motion, saying “it’s just making more rules.”

Earlier, Selectman Morton had asked, “How old is the town of Casco?”

Town Manager David Morton answered Casco had been incorporated for roughly 150 years.

“How did it operate that long without a charter?” Selectman Morton quipped.

“The town could survive for another 100 years without a charter,” the town manager replied. “It’s a matter of community preference.”

Town Manager Morton supplied the board with a couple articles, which appeared in newsletter, The Maine Townsman, and addressed the drawbacks and advantages that different towns have experienced in the process of adopting a municipal charter.

Prior to the vote, Grant and Chairman Barbara York both said getting to the point where the town actually considers adopting a charter would likely be a lengthy process.

“It’s a long process,” Grant said. “We have to make sure we have the public support because they are the ones who are going to vote on it.”

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